Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Why do they keep falling for it?

Remember NYPD Blue, the best cop show ever on TV? There was one episode where a woman came in to the precinct complaining that she had been ripped off by a con man. The man had told her that he had a special box that when "charged up" by his special machine would alter her appearance making her more attractive.

Det. Jill Kirkendall (Andrea Thompson) caught the case and when mentioning it to the other detectives it turned out that Det. Greg Medavoy (Gordon Clapp) was familiar with the con. So they set up a sting to catch the con artist.

The female victim was wired up and sent to meet the con man in a restaurant but the plan hit a snag when the con man started telling the woman how much more beautiful she looked and how attracted he was to her.

She ditched the surveillance operation and slept with the confidence man.

Kirkendall and her female partner couldn't understand how the woman could be so stupid.

I bring all this up because I recently heard the question posed about how a large segment of the American population could be so stupid as to keep voting for politicians who promise to deliver the blessings of big government.

After all this isn't the late 19th century when the ideas of socialism were new and untested. We have, after all, had more than a century to see that attempts to create any kind of secular utopia will always end in disaster.

Canada is having to - yet again - attempt to restructure its socialized health care system, because it is broke and cannot deliver on its promises. Greece is imploding and Spain and Portugal are not far behind - with Italy coming in a close forth in the state bankruptcy sweepstakes. European states which are not completely destitute like Germany and France are contemplating severing their ties to the EU and purging much of the socialism from their own societies (if they can avoid civil war in doing so).

China has had to abandon communism in anything but rhetoric and embrace the market in order to avoid the kind of internal upheaval that got Nicole Ceausecu stood up against a wall and shot. It seems that every day Hugo Chavez nationalizes a new segment of the Venezuelan economy and the Venezuelan GDP and the average Venezuelan's standard of living drops to a new low.

Over and over again the political left's promises of better living through government prove to be nothing but a prescription for disaster. Even when socialism has seemed to deliver a comfortable life to those who live under it in the end it always proves that the supposed "good life" was achieved only by "eating the seed corn" and leaving the people to starve come next winter. This is what is happening to Western Europe today. The lotus eater society of short work weeks, early retirement and cradle to grave entitlements which formed the foundation of their post-war culture has proven to be unsustainable. The bill is coming due and the bill collector seems to speak with a pronounced Arabic accent and to share a world view with Osama bin Laden.

So why do Americans still fall for the promise of big government when there is a vast tapestry of failure of big government for them to view?

Like the woman who slept with the con man who told her she was beautiful after sitting with a wooden box on her head for two hours a night for a week some voters will continue voting for the promises of left-wing politicians because they desperately want to believe.

They want to believe that their problems can be taken over by Washington and solved for them with little or no sacrifice on their own part. They want to believe that a comfortable life can be mandated by a congressional decree. That want to believe that want and hardship and struggle and uncertainty can be eliminated by the benevolent actions of a higher secular power.

In the end this desperate desire to rely upon government to smooth over the rough places and always be there with a safety net should we fall represents nothing more than a desire to return to the womb, to the last place where we felt completely safe and secure.

But there are two things we must remember. One is that a fetus in the womb consumes but is incapable of producing anything. A nation of fetus's cannot sustain itself and must collapse.

And two, the last time big government had anything to do with life in the womb it was to create a constitutional right to abortion on demand.